Travel Weekly's Las Vegas E-letter: August 3, 2004

ALLEGIANT AIR will offer year-round, nonstop scheduled service between Madison, Wis., and Las Vegas beginning Sept. 30. Using 162-seat MD-83 aircraft, the new service will operate on Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday each week. The carrier is offering introductory fares starting at $99 each way and two-for-one vacation packages, in which a second person flies free when a two-, three-, four- or five-night Allegiant Vacations package is purchased. Both the introductory fare and two-for-one deals must be purchased by Sept. 8 for travel taken between Sept. 30 and Nov. 18. Reservations can be made by phone at (800) 432-3810 or online at www.allegiantair.com.

'PHANTOM' TO APPEAR: The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino plans to bring Andrew Lloyd Weber's "The Phantom of the Opera" to Las Vegas in March 2006. The 90-minute version of the smash musical will be directed by 20-time Tony Award winner Harold Prince and will be performed in a $25 million theater that is being designed and built specifically for the production. The Las Vegas version of the musical will feature a series of special effects including an onstage lake and an exploding replica of the Paris Opera House chandelier.

NOW THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT: The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino began construction on a $7 million entertainment complex billed as "a virtual theme park for women." Called The Ultimate Girls' Night Out, the facility is scheduled to debut in December and will feature a 400-seat Chippendales Theater with a 50-foot-wide stage and private sky boxes to house the property's Chippendales show, a cocktail lounge and retail area. The facility also will include a ladies' room, but not just any ladies room. According to Rio officials, the facility's facilities will be "an integral attraction" complete with a plush "gossip pit." "We paid particular attention to the design of this facility, knowing women want a private, comfortable place to freshen up their appearance, exchange fashion advice and tell secrets," said Marilyn Winn, the property's senior vice president and general manager.

BUFFALO BILL'S RESORT & CASINO, located 35 minutes south of Las Vegas in Primm, turns 10 on Aug. 9. To help celebrate, Hootie & The Blowfish will play the resort's 6,000-seat Star of the Desert Arena this Saturday. Tickets are $10. The property also will hold a free fireworks display Sunday night. Buffalo Bill's, Whiskey Pete's Resort & Casino and Primm Valley Resort & Casino -- all located within a tram ride of each other -- are known as the Primm Valley Resorts and are owned and operated by MGM Mirage.

CORRECTION: BMI is not the first carrier to offer scheduled service between Manchester, England, and the western U.S., as was reported in the July 27 issue of the Las Vegas E-Letter. That distinction belongs to British Airways (BA), which a few years back ran scheduled service between Manchester and Los Angeles, according to a BA spokesman.

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